The fin is critical. Depending on the conditions you have to keep changing fins. The way the fins work will help you to perform. If you need power in a certain place you need a certain fin. If you need a fast fin that has no power just to go downwind then we have fins to suit. You need to understand which ones are better for all situations. The fin will ultimately give you the right trim for your board. I guess 30% of the whole rig’s performance is down to the fin! I paid $800 for a fin, but when I bought it I was too late and there were already better ones on the market. I use Z fins, Carpenter fins and Drake, a lot of other brands make decent fins. It is all about where you are sailing and what you need from the fin. There is not just one fin that covers everything! I have a feeling if my fin is good or not but then you need to test with somebody else to see if it is really fast. One thing is being comfortable and the other aspect is speed. You need a balance between these two characteristics. On the Asian tour I brought 28 fins with me. They cost me between 350 and 500 euros so it is quite a valuable stash! I always keep the covers on, I don’t leave them in the sun and I don’t really touch them. I never dig them in the sand or drag the board when I come out of the water. I try to split my fins when I travel just in case the airline loses a bag!